Costa Rica is planning to shift entirely to green sources to meet its energy demands. Its current President Carlos Alvarado has already announced that he will include decarbonization as a major agenda on his list. But as a skeptic would react to this, is a 100% green Costa Rica even possible?
Costa Rica has completed the year 2017 with its electricity need for 300 days coming from green energy sources. To emphasize it further, know that 100% electricity need for a complete of 300 days is not a simple task, given that it holds a population of 5 Million.
And very recently Costa Rica has added 14 new plants which include seven wind turbine plants, six hydroelectric plants, and a solar plant.
Green Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s National Centre For Energy Control has announced that the country relies heavily on five renewable sources.
The first place is held by hydropower. This source generates 78.26% of the electricity need of the country. Wind power comes in second, generating 10.29% of its electricity needs followed by geothermal energy 10.23%, biomass and solar 0.84% and hydrocarbons 0.38%.
Costa Rica surprised the world leaders when it completed 2017 with electricity demand of 300 days coming from green sources. Similarly, it had its electricity demand for 299 days met by green sources in 2015.
Costa Rica has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abu Dhabi based Clean Energy Company, Masdar. Masdar is operating in more than 20 countries and now aims to establish a strong presence the Latin America and Caribbean region. The two parties aim to share technical knowledge for further improving the green energy scene in Costa Rica.
Undisrupted Supply From Renewable Sources
Costa Rica usually switches to a backup grid when the green sources fail to generate enough energy. However, throughout the years, the country has witnessed a very sharp decline in such events.
In 2015, the country ran on a undisrupted electricity supply from its renewable sources for a straight 76 days. The following year the figure was 75 days. And last year it ran on green energy for an undisrupted 200 days.
Once we take in other factors that emit carbon in the environment, Costa Rica’s goal of decarbonization seems a very difficult task. For example, Costa Rica’s car market has been on the rise. In fact, the figure is greater than that of China.
So, even if Costa Rica shifts to renewable energy completely, it will still have carbon emission soaring due to automobile use. And to make it even worse, only 2% of the cars on Costa Rica are electric.
But only time will tell if a 100% green Costa Rica is possible. Do let us know your thoughts on the topic. In the meantime, her is a quick blog on how GE is planning to build the largest Off-shore Wind Turbine.